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Marriage: Finding Beautiful in the Messy

July 21, 2010

A few weeks ago, Jeremiah and I took the ENRICH relationship inventory. Last Wednesday, we went over our results with our mentor couple John and Pam. Our results astonished us, revealing that we were a vitalized couple. But the truth of the matter is those results wouldn’t have been that way 3 years ago.

Our marriage has needed some hard work done on it, a hard look into the deeper matters of our sinful hearts.

Some of it ties back to the day we sat down together about a year ago and read the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

As two people who followed Christ, we knew that those fruits didn’t characterize us as much as they should. We began to pray, reflect, bring our struggles before those we do life with, and most of all humble ourselves to find change.

God began to shine his light on the sin that was taking small bites out of our marriage. For me, I had allowed anger to inch its way in. Impatience. Ungratefulness. Harsh words and tone. Bitterness. I didn’t always see the degree to how destructive it was. But God didn’t give up on me.

Over time, God’s word began to change me and heal me in those areas. I’ve become less angry, more grateful, more self-controlled with my words and tone and more quick to forgive. I haven’t arrived and never will, but in God’s strength, he is making me more like him.

God continues to do an awesome work in Jeremiah and I respect and love him with such a greater depth than when we said “I do.” I value our relationship so much more and we both know that our marriage is the greatest treasure God has given us.

I’m so thankful that God’s promises are true. He is truly a God who takes the messy, broken parts within us and makes them beautiful. He turns marriages around so that His image can be better reflected in the world. And he will continue to do that if we let him.

Well after celebrating the good news of our ENRICH results, we agreed that there’s a temptation to get complacent in our relationship or even prideful. I’m sure we’ll have some kind of other “test” this week to make sure that doesn’t happen 🙂

Have you found anything “beautiful” in your marriage or other relationships lately?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2010 1:38 pm

    This post brought tears to my eyes. “I had allowed anger to inch its way in. Impatience. Ungratefulness. Harsh words and tone. Bitterness. I didn’t always see the degree to how destructive it was.” — this could be a page from my own journal. The Lord has brought a beautiful man into my life, and we are learning to walk together as we begin to turn our thoughts toward “for better or for worse.” I recognize each one of these characteristics you mentioned as tendencies in my own life, and though my sweetheart is so patient with me, I am constantly having to go back to him and back to the Lord and say, “well, looks like I slipped up again.” The clashes aren’t major or serious, but I want to change before they become so. Thank the Lord for His patience!

  2. July 23, 2010 5:39 pm

    Chrystal- Wow. Thank you so much for your honesty. Congrats on this new man in your life.

    It’s so good though, that it sounds you are open in communication with him about your struggles. That is key. Sanctification takes time- definitely a process. Be sure not to beat yourself up too much when you do mess up. You’re exactly right though, God is so patient with us.

    I hear you on the clashes that aren’t “major” or “serious.” That’s how it is for me, but like you said, those “little” sins always have the ability to get bigger and the first step is acknowledging them, confessing, and repenting. I’m definitely still in the process- and sometimes I feel like it’s a slow step by step 🙂

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